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Monk's Castle (St. James Church)

106th Street & Archer Avenue, Lemont, Illinois 60439 USA

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“Beware the ghost of the "Mad Monk"..”

St. James Catholic Church and Cemetery, also known as St. James at Sag Bridge Church is an historic church and cemetery in the Sag Bridge area of the village of Lemont, Illinois. It is situated on a high bluff at the western tip of the glacier-carved Mount Forest Island, overlooking the Calumet Sag Channel and the community of Sag Bridge. It's long been reported to be the site of numerous ghosts, including that of a "Mad Monk" who punishes sinners that dare step foot on the property after dark. The site has been important for centuries as a lookout, including a French fort visited by Father Jacques Marquette on his journeys on the Des Plaines River several times in 1673; it is believed he conducted Catholic Mass at the fort. Just before his death, Father Ploszynski, one of the church's many former caretakers, confided to friends that he would often look out his rectory window at night and be astonished to witness the ground raising and falling, almost as if the earth itself was breathing.  He also spoke of strange figures in black cloaks wandering the graveyard at night, leading many to believe that he was seeing the ghosts of those killed on the property.. or worse: Satanists.  The property has had a history of grave robberies and cult-related desecration over the years.   Reports of monks roaming the area, chanting in Latin and carrying candles were particularly common in the 1970's. Today, most ghost hunters and curiosity seekers report capturing ghostly evidence in the form of strange smells, cold spots, and EVP recordings, though there have been sightings of a phantom horse and the occasional report of a procession of monks effortlessly gliding through the grounds..

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Reviewed by
A. Crews

  • 55 Reviews
  • 90 Helpful
April 01, 2014

Interesting place, as you walk around they have monuments depicting the death of Jesus; dedicated in the memories of different people but not tombstones - not something I'd ever seen before.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 09, 2019

Although most of what is said here is true, there was no French fort at the site. Marquette was the first white man to explore the area, so there would have been no one here before him to build it. The church and consequent graveyard were both built on high ground when the I & M Canal was being built 1836 and after.

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Reviewed by

  • 13 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
March 09, 2017

Eerily quiet with a strange vibe to the place.

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Monk's Castle (St. James Church)

106th Street & Archer Avenue
Lemont, Illinois
60439 USA

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  • Pets Allowed
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  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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